Ice cream looms as one of Dallas' biggest food trends for 2016, and we're about to get a new twist from the West Coast: the milky bun. Bringing this fine delicacy to town is Milk & Cream, a cool shop opening in June on Greenville Avenue, in the recently remodeled strip that's also home to the storied Ships Lounge.
Milk & Cream comes from Man Ho, an entrepreneurial sort who grew up in Houston but saw the greatness of the milky bun when he lived in California's Orange County, the birthplace of this exotic ice cream treat. It's a cross between a filled doughnut and an ice cream sandwich, with a pastry standing in for the standard cookie.
"It's almost like a doughnut, but it's more dense and larger than a standard-size doughnut," Ho says. "We call it the sweet bun, but if you want to call it a doughnut, that's fine."
The technique to make this dessert has a few steps.
"You slice the bun in half, put in a scoop of ice cream and your choice of toppings, and the bun goes into a machine where it gets warmed," he says. "That's why the bun has to be more dense, so it will warm up without melting the ice cream.
"The appeal of the milk bun is the combination of cold and warm at the same time," he says. "You get the warm bun on the outside and the cool ice cream in the center. As the ice cream melts, it gets soaked up in the bun. But we serve it in a paper sleeve, so it doesn't spill."
His menu will be a fluid thing, incorporating standard ice cream flavors such as Madagascar vanilla, as well as exotic and fun flavors like lavender and cookies and cream, which he'll do with a twist, by coloring it blue and calling it cookie monster.
The store will feature a few stools for onsite consumption, as well as "selfie wall" where people can take photos.
Ho is a former tech guy who moved to Dallas for love, and his concept joins a big Dallas trend toward ice cream, with everything from doughnut ice cream sandwiches served at Hypnotic Emporium in East Dallas, to gourmet soft-serve from Austin's Cow Tipping Creamery, which opened a branch inside Good 2 Go Taco this spring.
"I wanted to be with my girlfriend, but I know that Dallas likes new trends, and this is a new trend," he says. "Usually, you see something in California, and then it comes to Dallas a few years later. Frozen yogurt took five years to get from California to Dallas, and this is still new on the West Coast, so I thought people here might like to get into it early."